Monday, April 28, 2008

Planning, Failing and Java Beans

by Karen D. Swim

It is not even 12 noon and I am already on Plan C for my Monday. Plan A was a carefully thought out, high powered day filled with charging through my to do list and checking off tasks with glee. Plan A required a full night of sleep on Sunday and an early start. Plan A fell apart at 7 am this morning.

Plan B was to put the blog post off for a couple of hours, charge through the most important task on my to do list and then rest if necessary. Plan B was history by 8:30 am. Plan C was to get some rest (better to get a late start with renewed energy than to drag through the whole day), awaken refreshed and proceed with Plan A.

Did I mention it's not even 12 noon? What does all of this have to do with you, your life and your business? Well, absolutely nothing. Think of this post like a Seinfeld episode, it's a post about nothing, or rather the mundane things in life that sometimes make for good humor.

Actually this post may have a point. A few weeks ago, Darren Daz Cox commented that the whole point of having a blog is to be personal. So Daz this one is kind of for you. While many cringe at the thought of being personal, equating it with spewing projectile vomit in public, allow me to offer my insight.

Being personal does not mean that you are required to share the titillating details of your life. Your blog is not a confessional, unless of course that's your thing. However, no matter what your blogging purpose may be, readers do want you "to keep it real." Dry boring facts without personality may inform but they will not engage. If you don't believe me, check out what CopyBlogger had to say on the subject last week.

Blogging is a contact sport, and requires a willingness to get up close with readers. Let your personality and style show up in your content, and be willing to engage readers in discussion.

If I had WordPress this would be classified as Way Off Topic. So bear with me today, I'm human and tired. Tomorrow is a new day and if everything aligns perfectly, my post will actually have a point.

How is your Monday going?


Anonymous said...

As you know, Karen, my blog is a deeply personal one, but it's not confessional in the slightest. In all honesty, confessional blogs always make me squirm a little! I think it's because I feel there is a line which I won't cross when sharing parts of myself online. Parts of me and my experience need to remain private to me, my family, and my closest of friends. However, that said, if a blog lacks a personality, I won't stick with it for long. I want to know that the person writing what I'm reading is a real person: a real person with strengths and weaknesses, passions and foibles, opinions and preferences. One of the reasons why I love your writing so much, Karen, is that you strike that balance of the personal with the professional just perfectly.
Oh, and if it's any comfort, I slept in today too!

Words For Hire said...

Amy, LOL! I do feel better knowing I was not alone! Like you Amy I like to know there is a person behind the blog. One of the things I love about your blog is it feels inviting and cozy. It is like those wonderful conversations you carry on with good friends about things that matter, where you share new perspectives. This trait is common in the blogs that I read regularly. Some people are very comfortable with confessional blogs but that is their personality. I think the key is to be true to yourself and allow that to shine through. BTW, I am now officially on Plan D. ;-)


Lillie Ammann said...

Tomorrow is a new day and a chance to start all over again with a new Plan A. May it go better than today!

Words For Hire said...

Hi Lillie,
Today is a new day! Yesterday I learned all over again not to sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff. I did what was necessary and the world did not fall apart. :-) Thanks for the encouragement Lillie.


Darren Daz Cox said...


Amy makes a good point too in that a balance between professional and personal is what makes for competant and consistantly interesting writing in this modern world.

We don't want our blogs to resemble press releases as people only read those things when they feel that they must, and I think that people (like us) don't care to read rambling 'haircut blogs' filled with glittery pirated graphics where you have to scramble to turn the song off (nothing is ruder, in my opinion, than forcing someone to hear your idea of good music, as the chances are we are already listening to something or reading quietly).

What makes for a good blog is what we do providing we have an opinion, don't be afraid to have an opinion as the chances are you'll motivate more people than you'll turn away because of your sass. hell, want a perfect example? go see Chris Brogan's post today, he could have played it safe but decided to blog from the gut and consequently motived a lot of readers to comment.

of course comments shouldn't be the bloggers motivation, blog with your purpose in mind and you'll get your audience, don't blog simply to get an audience as you'll run out of cupcakes and they'll move on to other peoples cupcakes....

Words For Hire said...

@Darren, hello and thanks so much for the thoughtful comments. Blogging continues to evolve, as does the audience. There's certainly room for various styles and voices. Many business blogs (large corporation) manage to have personality without being personal. So, it truly is possible to have a professional blog that is well read, and informative without personal elements. Again, it does go back to following your purpose and passion. You said it best if you are not true to your own internal compass, people will move on to someone else's cupcakes. :-) By the way, did you happen to know I love cupcakes?